Disaster recovery plans used to be the province of banks and big corporations. But with more and more businesses becoming dependent on IT they’re something that even smaller organisations need to think about.
When you think of disaster recovery for computer systems, the first thing that comes to mind might be a sort of shadow site on constant standby. Whilst big banks and international companies might need this kind of thing it’s not entirely practical for all businesses. That isn’t to say that if you run a small or medium company you can neglect disaster planning. Most companies rely on computers these days, to such an extent that any failure can have a major impact. It’s therefore vital to plan what you need to do should the worst happen.
The first thing to do is simply sit down and make a list of your systems. Then decide which ones you couldn’t operate without. These are your key systems and the ones that you need to protect. As a first step you need to ensure that you have backups of your data. But that’s no good if you leave the copies next to the computer a backup that’s stolen or destroyed in a fire is just as useless as no backup at all. You therefore need to think about having a backup stored off site or in the cloud. If you don’t know how to go about this don’t worry, there are plenty of companies offering IT services in London and elsewhere that can help.
There are several advantages to keeping your backups online. There are no geographical limits for example, you could be in Aberdeen but use IT services in London to store your data. This also means that you can restore easily via the Internet should you have to move to a new site. Here are some of the key benefits:
* Reliable and secure backup.
* Data can be restored to any location.
* Fast recovery time.
* Pay only for the space you need.
* One central location for data from multiple sites.
Once you have your data safely backed up you need to think about how you would continue your business in the event of problems. If your premises were flooded or suffered a fire and you lost your computer equipment how would you carry on?
A good support company should be able to help you either by giving you access to a recovery location or being able to provide equipment to get you started elsewhere.
They’ll also help you undertake a review of your requirements to identify your most critical systems. This will help you resume your operations in the most efficient way possible. You need to get your sales and other front line operations up and running first for example. The back office systems can come a little later.
By having a plan in place you can ensure that if the worst should happen your business can be up and running again with the minimum amount of disruption and with minimal losses of both business and earnings.
Paul Everton writes regularly on business IT matters and recommends consulting a specialist such as Syntax Integration when it comes to planning your business recovery needs.